Loon wishes to offer internet connection through balloons in Peru's rural areas

14:09 | San Francisco (U.S.), Oct. 29.

Project Loon —a subsidiary of Alphabet — intends to bring connectivity to rural areas in Peru —where there is a lack of internet access— through antennas installed in balloons that float 20 km up in the stratosphere.

"We are in discussions with telcos globally looking for innovative ways to address the challenges of rural and remote connectivity in their markets," Loon Communications Head Scott Coriell told Andina news agency.
In merely 48 hours, it was able to connect —with 4G technology— over 20,000 people impacted by the earthquake that hit Peru's rainforest cities of Yurimaguas, Moyobamba, and Iquitos.

"Loon is not an emergency service. However, since we have been testing (it) in the area where people have needed to stay in touch, we have been able to provide basic 4G internet connectivity when needed," Coriell said. 

"So, we hope to continue our presence in Peru and provide connectivity services on a non-emergency basis in the future," he added. 

As is known, Loon provided wireless internet access to tens of thousands of Coastal El Niño phenomenon disaster victims in the Inca country in 2017. 

It should be noted Loon had started testing in Peru three years ago, in 2016. 

Improvements to the algorithm 

In this sense, the representative indicated that they are constantly working on improving their algorithms to fly over a specific territory, regardless of the particular wind conditions that each area of the planet has.

Proyecto Loon

"Each balloon has an average flight time of 150 days. However, this past July, we announced that our P-496 balloon, made a controlled landing in a remote area of Ica, after staying 223 days traveling in the stratosphere around the world. This device broke the previous flight record of 198 days, making it the longest flight ever recorded for our balloons," Coriell concluded. 

Loon system 

Loon has taken the most essential components of a cell tower and redesigned them to be light and durable enough to be carried by a balloon 20 km up, on the edge of space.

Its balloons are designed and manufactured to endure the harsh conditions in the stratosphere, where winds can blow over 100 km/hr, and temperatures can drop as low as -90°C.

Each equipment is composed of antennas, solar panels, flight capsule, and a parachute.


Published: 10/29/2019
Most read